Problems With US Airway Award Flights On Star Alliance Airlines

Last week, I flew my last US Airways ticketed award trip on Star Alliance airlines. I was careful in my selection of airlines because I was planning on taking a lot of luggage with me to Europe and I could not have a US Airways flight on my outbound (because of my baggage). If I had, I would not have received the baggage allowance (I am not elite with US Airways or American Airlines anymore). So, my itinerary was United – Austrian – Aegean – Asiana – United (reviews will follow shortly – you may be surprised about which airline I felt won out!).

US Airways has some great flexibility, that many travelers really like, when it comes to booking award tickets . There is one part of their awards, though, that makes it the most inflexible of award programs – once the trip begins, you cannot make any changes to the itinerary. That is really tough for people that want trip flexibility. Combine that fact with the fact that now any changes made on a US Airways Star Alliance award ticket have to be rebooked on Oneworld Alliance airlines and it makes for some big complications.

Problems With US Airway Award Flights

Well, I hit my first snag yesterday on my way home. My last United flight was cancelled. I called United because I only had 25 minutes before my next flight took off and I could get the elite line while I would not be able to call the elite line with US Airways. The United rep said that she did not think she could help me since it was a US Airways ticketed flight. I told her that US Airways would not be able to help me since they could not book me on United anymore, to which she agreed with. But, after being on hold for 10 minutes, she was still unable to get me re-ticketed on a flight because US Airways had ticketed it. She was working with a supervisor and told me to ahead and board my other flight and she would keep working on it.

So, it looks as if some people may have problems if there are serious delays or cancellations on US Airways award tickets on Star Alliance carriers. The best thing to do would be to call as soon as you notice any irregularity on your tickets or times. Ultimately, it is US Airways job to get you to your final destination, but the process may be very time-consuming. In my case, when I finally did land in Chicago, I found that they were able to get me ticketed, but it did not matter as all the flights were grounded anyway. 🙂 What I did find interesting is that my records were a mess! When I called in to finally get a flight, the agent wasn’t quite sure where I was, where I was going, and why I was taking so many flights to the same place. 🙂 It turns out that they had not actually issued me a ticket for any of those options and said that an agent at the airport would have to help me with it because it was a US Airways award. They were simply holding the seats for me. In the end, I was able to do it right from my phone’s app, so do not count out that ability!

Has anyone else experience any such problems? What did you do to get it resolved?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Not looking forward to a similar situation for me over Labor Day. Worse yet, my wife + 1 child are on the USAir ticket, I + 2 children are on UA.

  • I thought if it was within a certain time window of the canceled flight, then it’s the operating carrier’s duty to rebook you, not us airways?

  • Had an AC seat booked with USAirways MAD > YYZ in J that experienced a change schedule. Called USAirways they said they can’t see or book AC space any longer and offered to reroute me on USAirways or cancel booking (which wasn’t an option). I kept calling AC reservations and had them put me on another AC flight in J. They created a separate AC PNR as they said they will only take control of USAirways booking 48hrs prior to flight. In the end, it worked out in my favour as I arrive in FRA from JNB and instead of going to MAD then YYZ, I’m now going direct to YYZ from FRA 🙂